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Old 10-28-2009, 01:37 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default GM researches electricity from vehicle exhaust

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Warren, Michigan – General Motors R&D has received funding for research into a special alloy that could potentially transform heat from a vehicle’s exhaust into mechanical energy.

The company received a US$2.7 million federal award that will help build a prototype using Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) that would generate electricity from the heat in automotive exhaust. The captured and converted energy could be capable of powering the vehicle’s stereo, power seats and air conditioning.

“When you heat up a stretched SMA wire, it shrinks back to its pre-stretched length, and when it cools back down it becomes less stiff and can revert to the original shape,” said Jan Aase, director of GM’s Vehicle Development Research Laboratory. “A loop of this wire could be used to drive an electric generator to charge a battery.”

GM said it is too soon to identify a vehicle where this technology could work, but hybrid or conventionally-powered vehicles are possible applications.

“No one else anywhere in the world is doing this work as far as we know,” Aase said. “In a hybrid system, the electrical energy could be used to charge the battery.

In a conventional engine, this could perhaps even replace the alternator without any load on the engine.” Aase said that the idea of an SMA heat engine has been around for 30 years, but the few devices that have been built were too large and inefficient to make it worthwhile.

The award is from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Program Agency, which distributed $151 million in grants. This was the only grant to an automaker. GM will work with HRL Laboratories, Dynalloy Inc., and the Smart Materials Collaborative Research Lab at the University of Michigan. It is expected that the partners will create a working prototype over the next two years.
http://www.canadiandriver.com/2009/1...le-exhaust.htm
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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Didnt they take enough $ already?
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by glanga View Post
Didnt they take enough $ already?
seriously? GM is being the most innovative at something, using money to explore new dimensions of eco-friendly features, and all you can do is mimic other people that hate GM to fit in?

Good work, GM. Taking spent energy and turning it into ME is awesome.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:22 PM   #4
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Why not try and make electricity from cow farts? Huh, how does that sound GM, breakthrough right!?
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:43 PM   #5
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They need to concentrate on making good cars first before wasting money like this.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:12 PM   #6
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“No one else anywhere in the world is doing this work as far as we know,”
You can bet that someone else in the world is working on this and has better ideas.

Has the "New GM" come across as a bunch of arrogant dicks to anyone else, or is it just me?

Not based on this comment alone, but their new commercials, ads.

I wont buy GM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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^ I agree. I especially like the "Let the best car win" tagline on the Chevy commercials. Stupid GM, the best cars did win and you lost (bankruptcy was a pretty big hint). I want my money back.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:31 PM   #8
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this is what they needed

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Old 10-29-2009, 12:35 PM   #9
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If a turbo can compress air it can power a battery.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:42 PM   #10
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they need to focus on a battery with a higher energy density or supercapacitors, or a good little diesel car for crying out loud!
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:09 PM   #11
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You mean... like a steam engine developes its power?
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:36 PM   #12
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So the volt can be considered to have an external combustion engine?
Hm, steam powered volt...
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:03 PM   #13
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i think the volt uses a gas engine to drive an electric motor kind of like a train does?
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:19 PM   #14
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they need to focus on a battery with a higher energy density or supercapacitors, or a good little diesel car for crying out loud!
Since those two items are exactly the opposite that doesn't make much sense.

Supercaps have horrid energy density. Absolutely abysmal.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by eg33GC View Post
seriously? GM is being the most innovative at something, using money to explore new dimensions of eco-friendly features, and all you can do is mimic other people that hate GM to fit in?

Good work, GM. Taking spent energy and turning it into ME is awesome.
Actually GM is my favorite car brand. My family currently has 3 Cadillac products and one GMC and I've grown up around them. I think they need to focus on many other things instead of taking more money for R&D of something that quite honestly, is very unnecessary right now in their current situation.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:15 AM   #16
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Since those two items are exactly the opposite that doesn't make much sense.

Supercaps have horrid energy density. Absolutely abysmal.
Li-ion batteries have energy densities in the neighborhood of 250-350 Wh/Kg while Supercaps or Ultracaps have energy densities less than 30 Wh/kg. The cool thing about the supercaps is they charge in seconds -vs- hours for traditional batteries, can handle big power at 90+% efficiency, don't have overheating issues, and orders of magnitude more charge/discharge cycles. Both have value, they aren't interchangable... yet.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:21 AM   #17
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Since those two items are exactly the opposite that doesn't make much sense.

Supercaps have horrid energy density. Absolutely abysmal.
They are both power sources, something car makers are interested in. Develop a capacitor that has a high evergy density and you get power and distance.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:26 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Yotsuya View Post
If a turbo can compress air it can power a battery.
Yep, but a turbo charger works off of the mechanical energy of the exhaust gases vs. the thermal energy, which is what this project is trying to capture.

The idea is the same as a combined cycle power plant which is basically a jet engine turning a generator, and it's exhaust gases boiling water in a boiler to use in a steam turbine which turns a second generator. Hurdles for applying this in a car thus far have been 1) the added weight and complexity and 2) there isn't that much waste heat. In fact, the more efficient an engine is in simple cycle, the less waste heat energy there is to capture in combined cycle.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BOY View Post
Li-ion batteries have energy densities in the neighborhood of 250-350 Wh/Kg while Supercaps or Ultracaps have energy densities less than 30 Wh/kg. The cool thing about the supercaps is they charge in seconds -vs- hours for traditional batteries, can handle big power at 90+% efficiency, don't have overheating issues, and orders of magnitude more charge/discharge cycles. Both have value, they aren't interchangable... yet.
That doesn't really matter b/c the poster was implying they were the same thing, they aren't they have opposite niches.

And btw the supercaps are dead IMO except for tiny ones. Li-Ion batteries are already so superior there really isn't any point. Current batteries that are middle of the road can be recharged in <15 min. A supercap buys you nothing b/c you cannot supply enough electricity to recharge faster anyway.

And top of the line batteries can be recharged so fast that supercaps are basically moot. If someone can make a super cap that will have good energy density that is fine, but it will only be useful if it is cheaper than competing Li-ion solutions, and the marginal increase in cycle life is actually useful. How many more cycles do you need than 25,000? If you double that is it even useful? Supercaps degrade also and they can fail so a theoretical huge number of cycles is not much good if it dies after 15 years anyway as the battery would already last that long.
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